Martin Scorsese directed Goodfellas. It is based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi. Like many other Scorsese pictures, it stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Ray Liotta plays the main character, Henry Hill. Early in the movie, Hill says, “as far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster. “Goodfellas chronicles his rise from a low-level mafia member all the way to the top. However, like many who came before him, staying at the top in a world of organized crime is not possible. One of the things Scorsese does in the movie captures the essence of Italian culture. Aside from the cinematography and sweeping storyline, the soundtrack moves the film along through several decades. Even though these are truly unique songs, some stand out more than others, with none being the worst. This is the ranking of all the Goodfellas soundtrack sounds.
12. Look In My Eyes – The Chantels
The Chantels were an influential group that paved the way for other groups consisting of women, including The Ronnettes. According to Daily Doo Wop, in 1961, they left the sound that made them famous and recorded this song.
11. Star Dust – Billy Ward and The Dominoes
The Domino’s paved the way for two members to have a solo career; Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson. However, as a group, they were equally successful. Before the two left the band, they recorded Star Dust, one of the earliest rock and roll multi-track songs.
10. Speedoo – The Cadillacs
The lead singer of the group calls attention to his nickname in the song’s opening line. Many think this is because he had a smooth tongue when talking to women. The song made it to #3 on the R&B charts and #17 on the US pop charts.
9. Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand) – The Shangri-Las
According to Song Facts, this song was the group’s first hit single. The lyrics focus on a love that seemed perfect but was lost along the way.
8. Sincerely – The Moonglows
One of the things that makes this song stand out is the usage of “blow notes.” This is where Harvey Fuqua inhaled and exhaled harmony creating a sound similar to a drum. After The Moonglows recorded, other artists covered the song, including Louis Armstrong.
7. Layla (Piano Exit) – Derek and The Dominoes
Many people think of Eric Clapton when listening to this song. However, Derek and The Dominoes were the first to sing it. According to Louder Sound, it is based on the 12th-century story about an Arabian princess.
6. Baby I Love You – Aretha Franklin
This song was the only single from the artist’s album Aretha Arrives, released in 1967. Ronnie Shannon wrote it. Arif Mardin, who played saxophone on Yakety Yak, provided a large part of the instrumentation. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot Singles Charts.
5. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
This song is one of the most well-known from the group. Jack Bruce wrote the song after seeing a Jimi Hendrix concert. Eric Clapton added the memorable guitar riff. However, the music wouldn’t be as impressive if it weren’t for the lyrics provided by Pete Brown, who also wrote Cream’s smash hit White Room. The song’s title comes from the night they stayed up until the wee hours of dawn writing this masterpiece.
4. Life is But A Dream – The Harptones
Raoul J. Cita wrote this song for the group in 1955, which started in Manhattan in the mid-1950s. Because the group had little to no music experience, very few hits ever went mainstream. However, this standout song was a perfect addition to the movie.
3. Mannish Boy – Muddy Waters
This song is a reworking of the Bo Diddley classic I Am A Man. Muddy Waters did two versions of this song, first in 1955 and then in 1977 on the album Hard Again. You’ll hear a guitar riff similar to Hoochie Coochie Man when listening to the music. Aside from the movie Goodfellas, it was also used in The Long Kiss Goodnight and Risky Business.
2. Beyond The Sea – Bobby Darin
Before Bobby Darin recorded the song, it was known as La Mer, a French song released in the 1940s. The song is one of the most memorable in Darin’s catalog. Besides Goodfellas, you will also find this song in a myriad of locations, including Finding Nemo and a Carnival Cruise commercial.
1. Rags to Riches – Tony Bennett
One of the central themes in the movie Goodfellas is Henry Hill’s rise to notoriety. This song is an excellent way of chronicling the journey. Additionally, Hill’s ego and self-confidence helped him rise through the ranks of the organization. The song was written by Richard Adler and Jeffery Ross in 1953. Bennet recorded the song with Percy Faith and Orchestra. Then, in 2012 he released an updated version with Romeo Santos singing some of the lyrics in Spanish. The song’s title is a common theme, exemplified in countless other movies. Additionally, since people in the Mafia start with low-level jobs and rise, it makes them even more proud of their accomplishments despite the means to their ends and sometimes untimely demise.
In another timeless classic, The Godfather, Vito Corleone said, “I want reliable people, people who aren’t going to be carried away. I mean, we’re not murderers, in spite of what this undertaker thinks.” Despite the violence of the Mafia, there is a loyalty in the group that is undeniable. One of the reasons is that Italians protect those they feel are family by nature. Goodfellas is an extremely violent movie that shows one of the darkest portions of Italian culture. However, it also shows the lengths one is willing to go to protect their family and loved ones.